Harfield trip today. First one for 2 months! It has been so nice and a bit surreal to be away from a hospital for more than a month, so I was almost reluctant to go back. Mind you I think this is a good thing as during my first few visits I would rush to see all the nurses, not only because I wanted to say hi but for a bit of a confidence boost too that the support system was still there, and I don’t seem to need that reassurance any more.
Mum picked me up bright and early and we set off in time for the pre 10am bloods (which measure the level of my immuno-supressant in my bloodstream). After a slight false start with my veins which appear to have gone into even deeper hibernation and have decided they clearly do not need to be used ever again, my favourite phlebotomist struck gold and I was off to visit the various other departments for lung function and X-ray. Whilst sitting in the waiting room suddenly a herd of people came running; the crash team had been assembled and were swiftly moving a patient to a more secluded area. The shock of it made my mum cry; it must just have brought back such frightening memories of the various occasions such a team were called to my side. It turned out to be a false alarm, said patient was fine, as was my mother after a firm squeeze of the hand and a reminder that I am no longer hovering in that area.
Whilst there I popped to the transplant ward to pay a visit to Peter and his wife. I stood in the corridor and waved for safety; he looks incredible – so pink! Even though I had seen it for myself it still made me look twice. I am so used to seeing him so ghostly white wandering up and down the corridors with his huge LVAD machine in tow. I asked him if he had got used to the lack of the noisy machine yet, he said with a smile he can hear the clock in his room ticking for the first time in years. Check up on how he is doing here. He still has a long way to go but so far, oh so very good!
As we whizzed through test after test it was clear things were going well. Sats were 100% my heart rate was 79; so low I actually asked her if she was sure the machine was reading right! We then set off to the local pub for our lunch break; the lovely owners know my family so well there, they would go there to drown their sorrows or to lift a glass to celebrate a step forward, it was nice to actually be in there with my mum. Whilst there we got a call from reception, my transplant surgeon (who every time I ask to see and every time is unavailable as funnily enough he is quite a busy man) had come down to see me. I don’t think I have “jogged” so fast in my whole life let alone post transplant! It was so lovely to talk to him and for him to see my progress since I was discharged.
After sitting around waiting for quite a while (it’s great; the “healthy” ones move to the back of the queue – I was moved to the back of the queue!!) we were called in for the debrief with the consultant. He went through my notes and stats saying “good, good, good, good...” then sat back saying “well I wish all my patients were as easy as this” after which much hilarity ensued as I don’t think any doctor who has treated me has ever thought that ever. First time for everything.
So a glowing report and a rather long break till my next appointment. If I am lucky I will be an honest woman by the time I go back...
NB – Lucky in the health sense, not lucky in the fact that A won’t suddenly see the light and run.